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SENATE HANSARD 20 JUNE 2017 VOL 26 NO 63

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PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE

Tuesday 20th June, 2017

The Senate met at Half-past Two o’clock p.m.

PRAYERS

(THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE in the Chair)

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

PARLIAMENTARIANS FOR GLOBAL ACTION (ZIMBABWE CHARTER) ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I have to inform the House that the Zimbabwe Charter of Parliamentarians for Global Action will hold its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, 21st June 2017 at 12 noon in the Government Caucus Room.  New Members are welcome.

OPEN LEARNING CENTRE CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP

THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I also have to inform the House that the Open Learning Centre is inviting Chairpersons of Committees to a two and half day capacity building workshops on Friday, 23rd June and Monday, 26th June, 2017 at the Meikles Hotel, Mirabelle Room, from 0800 hours to 1400 hours on each day.  Lunch and refreshments will be provided. 

INVITATION TO THE 2017 PROVINCIAL FOOD FAIRS

          THE HON. PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE: I also have to inform the House that the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development is inviting all Hon. Members to attend the 2017 Provincial Food Fairs for the dried vegetables, cereals and fruits in all the provincial centres throughout the country on Saturday 1st July, 2017.  Details of the programme have been placed in your pigeon holes.

MOTION

STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT

          First Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the State of the Nation Address. 

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. NYAMBUYA:  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 21st June, 2017.

MOTION

PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH: DEBATE ON ADDRESS

          Second Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion in reply to the Presidential Speech.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. NYAMBUYA:  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. MUMVURI:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 21st June, 2017.

MOTION

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

          HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  I rise to move that Order of the Day, Number 3 be stood over until the rest of the Orders of the Day on today’s Order Paper have been disposed of.

          HON. SEN. MASUKU:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON INDIGENISATION AND EMPOWERMENT ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE NON-ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COMMUNITY SHARE OWNERSHIP TRUSTS

Fourth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on Indigenisation and Empowerment on the Circumstances Surrounding the Non-Establishment of Community Share Ownership Trusts in Mudzi and Mutoko Districts.

Question again proposed.

+HON. SEN. BHEBE:  Thank you Madam President for giving me this opportunity to debate on this report.  I would also like to thank the Hon. Member who moved this report, Hon. Sen. Tawengwa and the seconder, Hon. Chief Dandawa.

In my point of view, the report on the Indigenisation Committee is very important because it directly speaks to us as Zimbabweans.  The report reveals that as a Committee, we went to Mudzi and Mutoko to find out more on the challenges they have when it comes to the aspect of Community Share Ownership Trusts.  It is really difficult.  There was a day when it was launched where people showed the President cheques.  There were cheques that were issued that pointed to the fact that a particular company would support the programme.  When I look into this programme, I realise that it was meant to assist the people, the communities and the challenges they face at schools or local clinics that need to be built or renovated; it might be water challenges – that is why this programme was set up in the first place such that those companies like mines in that particular area would support this programme.  When I saw those cheques that were given to the people, I think it was disrespectful on the part of the companies that gave out the cheques because they never honoured what they had promised.

Therefore, there is need that our Government makes sure that this programme moves on as it is meant to assist the people.  In our Committee, we spoke a lot about Mudzi and Mutoko especially about the precious stones that are mined from there.  We do not even know where the stones are taken to.  Other Hon. Senators have already spoken about the confusion when it comes to which Ministry we would want to speak to in order to protect these precious stones.  We do not know if we should speak to the Ministry of Mines or the Ministry of Indigenisation because these are two ministries that are supposed to work together.  We need to know how they work together.

The journeys that we travelled as a Committee are very wide and long.  Most of the provinces have similar problems.  There are a few provinces where Community Share Ownership Trusts are functioning but in most places, nothing is happening at all.  We do not know what causes this challenge.

I come from Matabeleland North and the province where I come from, there is a Community Share Ownership Trust.  However, the Trust does not get enough money; we only receive money from a mine that is near the Trust because the mine assists on other issues in the community.  It has assisted in building schools, clinics as well as hospitals.  I remember that there is a hospital that needed its mortuary to be renovated and it assisted in that way.  It also assisted women and youth groups for them to do small projects for themselves as well as the disabled and those affected and infected by HIV and AIDS.  That is what we are looking at.

When we look at a Community Share Ownership Trust, that is how it should assist people in different communities.  Therefore, Madam President, I think that this Committee has a lot of work.  It needs to move around and meet particular ministries such that we know and we can be able to assist our people and know the challenges they face.  We also have to know why these companies face so many challenges and do not honour their promises.

If only the Ministries could come here and answer our questions.  If only they could shed light into what we are supposed to do because the problem of Mudzi and Mutoko is existing in Zimbabwe and needs to be solved as it is a challenge to the people who live in that community. I have heard some Hon. Members refer to the fact that we were supposed to give power to our chiefs because these places belong to the communities where they come from.  I do believe that our chiefs are the ones who chair some of our Committees.  When they chair these Committees in different areas, I am no longer sure if they are given the power and authority to make sure that the existing laws are followed.  Government agreed that the Community Share Ownership Trusts that are down in the communities should be chaired by the chiefs such that they are apolitical.  If these are chaired by chiefs, they become apolitical and everyone is free with them.

Therefore, I am wondering  - with the authority that they were given, whether they cannot manage to control what is happening with these companies.  Also, what I would want to know from the Ministry, if the Minister was around is, if he could clarify to us which companies are supposed to assist the Community Ownership Trusts.  Is it the mines only or it is any other company that is existing in that particular community because we are so confused?  We are tired, we are working on our own and there is no one assisting us.

Apart from us being assisted by the Ministries and the Government setting up the proper laws, especially those who pledged to assist with particular cash and funds, nothing will happen.  We will keep on walking in a circle and going backwards.  Therefore, Madam President what I am saying is, there should be a law that is set up and they should make sure that law is functioning.  If, as Government, we are not going to enact this law, there is nothing that is going to go ahead.  With those few words, as so many other Hon. Members have contributed, Madam President, I would like to rest my case.  I thank you.

HON. SEN. CHIEF CHARUMBIRA:  Madam President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MASUKU:  I second.

Motion put and agreed.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 21st June, 2017.

MOTION

ALIGNMENT OF CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS BY ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION (ZEC)

Fifth Order read:  Adjourned debate on motion on the Alignment of the Electoral Act to the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  Thank you Madam President.  I want to thank everyone who debated on this motion.  I did not have enough time to compile a list of everyone who had debated, but I want to thank every Hon. Member, who contributed to this motion by debating.  You did very well and I appreciate every sentence and every thought that you put into it and the research that you did.  So, I want to move for the adoption of the motion that this House:

ACKNOWLEDGING the progress made by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) towards assuming the Constitutional mandate of ensuring that elections are conducted efficiently, freely, fairly, transparently and in accordance with the law;

FURTHER ACKNOWLEDGING the financial restrictions facing ZEC due to scarcity of resources allocated by the Treasury and the interest from the international donors, including UNDP, to assist in supporting ZEC as a key pillar of democracy;

AWARE that the desire by government to engage the International Community as  economic partners for the development of Zimbabwe will also be enhanced by inviting the widest range of international players to observe and monitor  our national  elections;

AWARE that the holding of a transparent, free and fair election in 2018 will depend on the integrity of the voters roll as well as an enabling environment;

NOTING the slow process of aligning the Electoral Act to the Constitution means that there are areas wherein ZEC is acting unconstitutionally and that there have been actions by ZEC which have not been aligned even to the Electoral Act;

NOW, THERFORE, calls upon

a) The Government to expeditiously align the provisions on ZEC to the Constitution;

b) ZEC to urgently engage with partners to implement the biometric voters roll in order to fulfil the Constitutional mandate;

c) Government to align the Electoral Act with the Constitution and crate an electoral environment that complies with Article 17 of the African Union Charter on free and fair elections.

Motion put and agreed to.

MOTION

ALIGNMENT OF THE EDUCATION ACT TO THE CONSTITUTION

Sixth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on funds controlled by School Development Committees (SDCs) and School Development Associations (SDAs).

Question again proposed.

HON. SEN. KHUMALO:  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. CHIEF CHIMHINI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume: Wednesday, 21st June, 2017.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS ON SDG NO. 3

Seventh Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First report of the Thematic Committee on Sustainable Development Goals on SDG No. 3.

Question again proposed.

*HON. SEN. MURONZVI:  Thank you Mr. President for affording me this opportunity to say a few words as regards the report tabled by the Committee on the Sustainable Development Goals, which is chaired by Hon. Sen. Chief Mtshane.

Mr. President, I rise to say that as regards this Committee, from the first time I became a Member of the Senate  when the Committee was still known as the MDGs, now it is called SDGs we had not visited any place.  It used to bother me as I was in this Committee as to why we were not conducting field visits and what the reasons were.  I was at sea as regards that issue despite the fact the Committee is very important. 

          A lot of members left that Committee and we remained hanging in there - being curious to find out what was happening because of lack of the visits despite the Chairperson discharging his duties well.  It even pained our Chairperson.  I would like to thank you for steering this Committee Chairperson and it hurt you very much.  As a result of the Chairperson being hurt, I used gossip with others that we are unable to travel because our Chairperson is too quite.  This really pained him, until he summoned the Clerk of Parliament to explain to us why we do not go out for fact findings. 

          The Clerk was not around by then but we met the Deputy Clerk.  The Deputy Clerk apologised to us and that is when we went to our first visit in Murehwa.  What we saw during the visit was mentioned by the seconder.  I am mainly concerned by SDG Number Three “ensure health, life and promote wellbeing for all at all ages”.  The statement implies that all ages should be looked after in terms of SDG Number Three.  This is an important Committee.  I realised its importance when we called Dr. Gwinji who explained to us that a lot of people are dying – about 17 million deaths are caused by diseases.  He added that 8.2 million deaths were caused by cancer and 1.5 caused by diabetes.

          I do not know why this Committee is looked down upon but when we went to Murehwa to visit hospitals, we were told that clinics and hospitals do not have medication.  They did not have laundry machines and these are some of the challenges they were facing.  I am trying to say that field visits help us to know better what is happening.  This field trip opened my horizon and I appreciated the importance of the Committee when we went to this field visit.  The health of a human being is important.  It is my plea to the Clerk of Parliament to look for funding to enable us to cover the length and breadth of this country to see what the health situation is like in Zimbabwe.  I thank you Mr. President.

          *HON. SEN.  MAVHUNGA: Thank you Mr. President for this opportunity to add my contribution to this debate on the report tabled by the SGDs Committee, which is chaired by Hon. Sen. Chief Mtshane.  I am disturbed by the additions that were made by the previous speaker and I am concerned.  An unhealthy nation has no development, that is why there should be co-existence between health and development. 

          The Committee did a splendid job when it looked at health issues and the state of the hospitals.  They could have gone to Marondera and Mutoko but their field visit was an eye-opener.  What they observed in those areas is what predominantly exists in most of the areas in this country.  I support her recommendation that village health workers should be paid; they should be recognised and that they should be given sufficient tools of trade because they are with the majority of the people on a daily basis.

 In the farming areas where I come from, they are referred to as Mai Utano or Mbuya Utano.  When people go to these health workers, they are given malaria tablets before they are tested.  These health workers live for the people.  They also teach personal hygiene.  So, for these health workers to discharge their duties in a professional manner, it is important that they be given a wage or salary and motor bicycles so that they can be mobile. 

There is also the issue of donors who are the mainstay of the health of the people.  I believe that Government should ensure that the 15% from each budget as recommended by the World Health Organisation goes to the health sector.  People should be taught.  A lot of people are dying due to lack of knowledge as a result of diabetes.  When they die, people cast aspersions and blame it on superstition.  More often than not, Hon. Sen. Khumalo believe that if we eat a lot of food we think we are enjoying ourselves but the truth of the matter is we are killing ourselves. 

If it were possible the Ministry of Health and Childcare should have sufficient funding to ensure that they discharge their duty of ensuring that people live a healthy life.  In Bindura, where I come from,   we have a hospital where people pay $5.00 as consultation fee and they are examined by a Doctor.  Thereafter, they go and buy medication from the pharmacy.  We would want a situation where Provincial Hospitals have drugs so that patients can access them at the hospital.

We heard that in Mutoko, the X-Ray machine was not mounted although it had been purchased.  It is not in use, maybe it is because of lack of expertise or the lack of persons who operate such equipment.  So, I suggest that the ministry must employ experts who can be able to operate such machines. I rise to support that if we want real development and not have brain drain, we should have a health system that is well funded.

          HON. SEN. CHIEF MTSHANE:  Mr. President, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday, 21st June, 2017.

MOTION

ADOPTION OF A DRAFT PROTOCOL ON THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON HUMAN AND PEOPLE’S RIGHTS ON THE RIGHT TO NATIONALITY AND THE ERADICATION OF STATELESSNESS IN AFRICA

          Eighth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on resolving situations of statelessness in our country.

          Question again proposed.

          HON. SEN. TIMVEOS: Mr. Speaker, I move that the debate do now adjourn.

          HON. SEN. MOHADI:  I second.

          Motion put and agreed to.

          Debate to resume: Wednesday 21st June, 2017.

MOTION

FIRST REPORT OF THE THEMATIC COMMITTEE ON HIV AND AIDS ON HIV AND AIDS IN INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING IN ZIMBABWE

          Ninth Order read: Adjourned debate on motion on the First Report of the Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS on HIV and AIDS in Institutions of Higher Learning in Zimbabwe.

          *HON. SEN. MUMVURI: Thank you Mr. President.  I rise to debate the motion that was moved by Hon. Sen. Timveos who is the Chairperson of that Committee and I am a member.  Mr. President, the Committee travelled and incidentally this past week, it re-visited some of the institutions in conjunction with the Portfolio Committee of Health.  We visited one of the Universities called the Midlands State University. I just want to comment on the activities which we observed there and history seems to be repeating itself.  We must understand that we focused more on universities because that is where most teenagers are found, we call these institutions key populations.

          In these key population areas, we find a high prevalence rate of HIV and AIDS than the national statics which is around 14%.  You find that in young populations such as teenagers, including some of the key populations such as sex workers, minors, artisanal miners and truck drivers, there is a high prevalence rate which is above 20% and some are saying 29%.  That was the purpose of our field visits to institutions of higher learning to find out the causes of high prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS among the children who are the future leaders of our country.

          Mr. President, I am worried about what is happening in institutions of higher learning.  Some of the things might have been mentioned but let me repeat them.  The first reason is poverty; this is one of the causative agencies in the spreading of HIV/AIDS because they are failing to look after themselves during their years in school for three to five years.  The other reason is they become excited because they would have found new freedom, away from parents for the first time.  The other one is peer pressure because they want to do what their friends are doing. 

What worries me is that, regarding the Midlands State University, two things came out clearly.  First, girls are falling pregnant, which is indicative that they are having unprotected sex.  Some of them are saying that they do not want the type of condoms they are given.  It is surprising that they are choosing playing with their life.  They want flavored condoms; to me this does not mean anything.  It means that they are having unprotected sex which leads to unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.  The same thing was talked about last week when we re-visited.  We had Mrs. Nyamwanza from NAC.  She brought condoms - the public distributed condoms which are not flavoured and the flavoured ones.  She opened them and put them on a tray.  The children were asked to choose between the flavoured ones and the unflavoured ones.  The children smelt the two and they chose the NAC freely distributed condom and said it was flavoured, leaving out the flavoured one.  What we are trying to prove here is that there is no difference between a flavoured condom and the one not flavoured and distributed for free, whether it is ribbed or strawberry flavoured, it means nothing. 

Children must use condoms so that our HIV/AIDS prevalence figures go down and that they should not indulge in unprotected sex.  The report talked about the issue of less use of the female condoms.  One of the reasons that were given is that it takes a lot of time to wear.  Be that as it may, I believe that girls should be encouraged to use the female condom.  I also observed that the Midlands State University as the authorities at the institution; are not imparting skills or teaching these children to ensure that the children enhance their welfare. 

What is happening at the Midlands State University is that as one of the largest enrolling universities which has 23 000 students, what are they doing?  Yes, they are conducting lessons as you know; the Midlands State University did not come into existence before the University of Zimbabwe and other universities.  The Midlands State University only came on board later on.  When they enroll these students, they are doing what is called “fund raising” and the fees that they are receiving from these students, they are not ploughing them back to ensure that the welfare of the students is taken care of.

          This time around, we went to Zvishavane Campus.  The Midlands State University is situated in Gweru, but they have a campus in Zvishavane where we went.  The information that we got from the students there is that they are complaining that the fees that they are paying, the funds are being channeled and used at the main campus.  They now have campuses in Shurugwi and Mutare.  Midlands State University is an overburdened with students – which is 23 000 while the largest and oldest one, the University of Zimbabwe has 14 000 students and all of them are not resident at the University of Zimbabwe.

          Although universities cannot contain high numbers of students, they should have numbers that they can manage and contain.  Midlands State University – the students are posted all over, where there are no hostels.  They first build other blocks and request students to look for accommodation – where will they be looking for accommodation?  A student who has come from Bulawayo and is now at a new campus would rent their own accommodation in Zvishavane.  We are exposing our children unnecessarily to evil.  The concept that we should grow, I believe that it happens in other countries but these countries have an economy which is ticking and at the moment our economy is not ticking.  So, we cannot have campuses with satellite campuses in Mutare and such other places.  It is not right because the girl-child is not empowered and they cannot be self-supporting.  So, to send them away from their parents or guardians is to expose them to sugar daddies like ourselves whom they now call ‘blessers’, who then step in and end up taking care of them and they naturally abuse them.  I do not believe that this is right.

          In terms of the health facilities in these institutions, there are nominal health services – 24 hours per day but there is no such thing at the Zvishavane Campus.  Maybe it is happening at the mother university and not at the Zvishavane Campus.  Even when we were leaving, we asked the children where they were going and they said that they were going to their lodgings.  I adopted a boy-child and I communicate with him.  I did ask him to inform me what the state of affairs is like and once in a while I send him $10 through EcoCash to assist him.  We just met as we were networking in our bid to get to know more about the students and that child greeted me and addressed me as Senator Mumvuri.  I decided that we should discuss and I eventually adopted him.  I am proud to say that even today, we have established contact with each other.

          What I am saying is that, we should not dump our children but let us look at the enrolment and have figures that we can adequately take care of in terms of facility provision such as lodgings, hostels and library facilities.  Although we were on a mission on HIV/AIDS, it does not come as a surprise that in Zvishavane, there are artisanal miners and other people.  There are artisanal mine ‘blessers’ who are careless with their lives and our children are exposed to the dangers that I have earlier on mentioned.  Generally in universities, when our children go there, we should tell them, especially the girl-child, I have children that are there and we should teach them to value their morals.

          There are those that are champions of teaching others in peer groups and there is a peer group that is called ‘Say What’.  In the Midlands, a certain child came representing the ‘Say What’ group, which is supposed to disseminate information on HIV/AIDS.  This is done through peer education but those children who are supposed to lead as good examples also misbehave.  The child said that, they would do that because they cannot sit their in the lodgings when others are going to enjoy themselves.  Others are enjoying pizza, so they join the group as a result of peer pressure but is that what you came to the university for?  The children should appreciate that although they are teenagers, they are still children and they should not indulge in adult sex lives as their parents.  They are going to the universities to pursue their learning.  The parents sent you to school, they manage to pay school fees for you and they will have done very well in giving you basic things for your survival – having toothpaste, toiletries and such things. That is sufficient for you and you should not go there and drink beer.  You never drink beer at your parents’ home and these are the bad results of peer pressure, especially the teenagers.

          The boy-child is the one who instigates others into such behaviour although they do not suffer the same consequences as the girls.  The HIV/AIDS issue in the universities is a cause for concern and still is a cause for concern.  These are higher education institutions.

          We went to Gweru and there is a group called ‘The Dreams’ and they are the same age group but they are children that are already mothers and fathers.  Amongst this age group, HIV/AIDS figures are very high.  As Government and parents, we still have a lot to do.  We may blame sex workers, but they are not solely responsible since their impact is not as great.  Artisanal miners, yes they might be but we are worried because these are population areas for HIV/AIDS.

In institutions of higher and tertiary, there are a lot of things that can be done. I do not know how best we can resolve this but I advocate that loans and grants be reinstated at universities so that our children are empowered. There is no other panacea to this. When we went to university, we used to receive pay-outs and were able to send our siblings to school after receiving such payouts. That is how we were empowered. So, it will be a matter of choice for a child to have a blesser and not because of circumstances. Because of the economy, our children are forced to have blessers and succumb to peer-pressure. Institutions of higher learning should have sufficient funding in the form of loans and grants so as to reduce this menace of HIV/AIDS. We may be thinking that we are going forward but after years, we may realise that there are no people to take over from us.

With those few words, I would want to strongly support this report. I thank you Hon. Sen. Timveos for leading this Committee. We were very objective and something must be done. I thank you Mr. President.

HON. SEN. MOHADI: I want to add my voice to the report which was presented in this august House by our Chairperson Hon. Sen. Timveos. I am also a member of the same Committee. Truly Mr. President, we visited the institutions of higher learning in Zimbabwe but we did not go round the whole country. We just visited a few of the institutions.

From the report that you got and from the contributions that are being made by Members who visited all these areas, you find that there is a lot that can be done in these institutions of higher learning. I say so because when we talk about that you find that these children have no protection whatsoever pertaining to the issue of HIV/AIDS. Meanwhile, we are trying to reduce the rate of HIV but in a way or the other, it is increasing because if there is no control of these children who are still sexually active, we are not going anywhere.

Mr. President, it was quite clear when we discussed with these children that they are having unprotected sex and as a result, there are high instances that these children can be HIV positive. There is great need that there be awareness workshops and meetings in these institutions so that children are aware of what HIV/AIDS is all about. You find that most of these children are at a denial stage whereby they do not even believe that there is AIDS in the country. They do not care about it. Sometimes they go to an extent of telling you that if other people are surviving, we will also take these tablets and survive also. This is very dangerous because we are looking at these young boys and girls who ought to build Zimbabwe and fathers of tomorrow but they become parents when they are already infected by HIV/AIDS. There is a likelihood of them bearing children who are also HIV positive which is very dangerous.

Mr. President, because you find that in some institutions they have clinics, I propose that medicines be made available in those clinics so that students get their ARVs within their complexes. You find that some of these children have to travel long distances going back to their homes to get ARVs because that is where they will be registered. By so doing, they end up missing lessons because no one will wait for them. So, we need to make medicines available at those schools.

Another thing which could also assist; there is need for testing machines within the campuses so that children do not have to travel long distances to be tested or get the CD4 counts and so on. There should be an extra budget to the institutions of higher learning because that is where our future generation is based. If they are spoiled from there, they will never be corrected again and that means we will carry on like that until no more.

Mr. President, I also propose that there be further outreaches to those institutions that we did not manage to visit. I think a lot is happening there and we have, as legislators, to protect these children because they are in danger. Five to ten years from now, the situation will be worse if there is no action that is taken because they are just like orphans without parents, yet we are supposed to be their parents. We have to protect them in a way or so. We cannot just look at them and think that their parents will take care of them. It is our duty as a country to take care of the school going children and they have to be protected because they have their own rights. What they do not know is that there should be some awareness workshop to make them aware of every little bit of information on how they can be protected and also how they can protect themselves.

I thought I should just add a few words because this report has been debated for quite a long time. You find that HIV/AIDS is not something very new. Most of our motions also cover HIV/AIDS. Whenever we talk about these issues, we will just be mixing things here and there. Some of the reports have not been reported because they are almost similar and we are facing almost the same problem. HIV is there, it is real and kills. We have to protect our children. With those few words Mr. President, I thank you.

*HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA:  Thank you Mr. President and how are you?  I have decided to debate on the very important motion that is before us.  It is indeed a good motion.  The report was tabled by the Chairperson of the Thematic Committee on HIV/AIDS regarding the HIV/AIDS in institutions of higher learning in Zimbabwe and the Committee regarding the HIV/AIDS issue has raised many issues.  When the Committee went to Zvishavane, they were received by a group of sex workers that were very happy to be entertaining Parliament on that day.

Secondly, when they went to the university, they met a group that was saying because of the poverty prevailing in the country, it was proper for them to misbehave because they would want to raise food or it was for want of money to pay for their educational fees.  As a result, they have the so-called blessers who then pay for their fees.  They ended up into relationships with their blessers because they pay for fees and get sexual favours in return. 

It is saddening Mr. President, that when we were growing up these universities used to have well behaved children that would go to such institutions of higher learning and the children were focused.  Parents would know the reason why the child is going there and if they had no money, the child would not be going to university.

For those who put in their money because of poverty so as to ensure that they go there and attain better status, they would work for three years to repay the loan or they would be put on bonding by the Government.  After three years, they would be free to work.  The university students that we do have, once they have completed their studies do not want to repay their educational loans.  My view Mr. President, is that on the issue that we have sex workers in the country – I asked the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Services if we had sexual workers in Zimbabwe.  Hon. Members of both sexes in here, if we are to clothe a father and a mother, we have a son and daughter not a sex worker.  When we say we have sex workers, there will be a committee to represent thieves.  In Rhodesia, we had the Zimbabwe African Thieves Organisation (ZATO) that recognises thieves and the rights attended thereto.  If a sex has a right, she will be entitled to pension and what form of pension are they going to get – it is sickness and diseases.  We do not have a company where we employ sex workers.  We should not bless the issue of sex workers.

There was the issue of condoms that was mentioned by Hon.  Sen. Mumvuri, it is true.  I was asked by some young men who said there is some oily substance in the condom – where does it come from?  Is the oil in the condom the same as fluids that will come out of a woman?  Does that mean when the child reproduces, they will have the oil going into their male sex organ?  They do not prefer that but instead they prefer to draw the fluids that emanate from the women’s sexual organs which is healthy.

THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Can you be precise?

*HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA: Places where sex workers made reference to are brothels and they are even licenced so that they look after the health of their clients.  That is how we had sex workers and this is what we are now doing.  I understand that they are also advocating for the distribution of condoms in prisons.  If these condoms are distributed in jails, are we not then promoting gays?  I will give an example of a motor vehicle.  If a person was to drink petrol, they will then become drunk and if the petrol were to come out through the exhaust, that person will die.  What are these condoms used for?  Once they are used for gay sex, that person will die...

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  On a point of order Mr. President.  Maybe there is another motion I do not know about but the report he is debating is of the Committee on HIV/AIDS visiting tertiary institutions because there is research that was done that HIV/AIDS prevalence is now high between the age groups of 15 to 24.  As a Committee, we decided to visit tertiary institutions because this is where...

*THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Order.  Please give us your point of order.  Do not debate again.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  He is talking about things that are not in the report.

*THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE:  Thank you.  Hon. Sen. Machingaifa, you are alleged to have strayed from the debate.

*HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA:  Thank you Mr. President.  I wanted us to enlighten one another.  Nevertheless, since we are denying ourselves the opportunity to enlighten each other, I rest my case.  I was of the view that when the Committee conducted these field visits, they were not through.  They found those that were saying they suffer from poverty and those that have accepted that they are HIV positive and are now on drugs.  Those that have defaulted from receiving their medication, how many are they and how many are still alive?  If you go back, people now appreciate that – in previous years many people had very thin hair because of HIV but now people will remain health and do not have thin hair because they have accepted that there is HIV/AIDS. We also want to find out the issue of stigmatisation…

          *THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT:  You are saying people are refusing to be enlightened but we would want people to be enlightened on new information, but the motion should come up differently.  We are talking about children that are in institutions of higher learning.  Give us your contribution on that issue.

          *HON. SEN. MACHINGAIFA:  Students in institutions of higher learning should help us by being disciplined. They should not have ‘blessers’ because of poverty.  They should not be given tuition in return for sex.  In the past, there were hostels and there was food for these learners.  Even if tuition was to be increased, no learner would destroy their buildings.  The Ministry should have manageable figures of students at these institutions of higher learning.  I thank you.

*THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT:  I think you now know that when Hon. Sen. Machingaifa is debating, he has a lot of brains and a lot of issues; some of them will not go on the touchline.

*HON. SEN. MARAVA:  Thank you Mr. President.  This is an important motion.  I would like to thank the Committee that went to these institutions and came up with this report that is being debated. 

This is a practical case which affects the present and the future. It affects the legislators because of their position in society.  As the institution responsible for making laws, we are going to be insulted by our grandchildren when they discover that we were the crop of legislators that encouraged such misbehavior.  I believe that we should come up with a solution and we should not act as the proverbial jumping from the frying pan into the fire, or adding fuel to the fire. 

There is a lot of poverty and girl children at tertiary institutions are suffering.  We are far from reaching a solution in as far as they are concerned.  These children value a temporary measure instead of coming up with a permanent solution.  They forget the major reasons they went to these institutions of higher learning as a result of peer pressure.  There is need for assistance from parents.  This is why in the old African society we had rules where children were never said to be old until any age.  A child would remain a child and would be scolded by the parents even if they were married and had their own children until their parents died.  When we said 18 years is the age of majority and the child is free to do what they want, we shot ourselves in the foot. By accepting bad influence, these children end up having bad morals which are not in line with their family values and culture.  In the end, the culture and behaviour is eroded. 

There is an Hon. Member who said that if it was possible, grants would be reinstated.  I believe that the fault lies with the Government.  If our Government was serious, some of these problems would be dealt with.  I am happy that Government has reduced the number of road blocks. This is a good move because a plethora of road blocks was now costing the country, a lot of tourists were no longer coming to this country.  For example, the money that is saved in one sector can be given to the Ministry of Health.  The Ministry of Finance should not find it difficult in taking care of these children at tertiary institutions.  Our children are our feature.  The Ministry of Health should be empowered to look into the plight of these children and ensure that they are given health; follow up on them and give them life surviving skills. 

Some children are sent to university by parents who will have sold groundnuts and second hand bales of clothes.  We should treat this motion with the seriousness it deserves in the sense that parents suffer for the investment of their children.  We may talk about other investments such as insurance or funeral policies and so forth;  there is no better investment than the investment in human child – that is my own child.  My child is my future.  If I was able to send my child to the university from selling groundnuts and avocado pears, the Government should also play its part.  By sending my child to the university, I am assisting the country because the child becomes a national investment -should he or she survive because the institutions of higher learning are now a death trap to the girl child?

Government should set its priorities right with regards the budget so that money can be used on sensitive issues such as saving lives of the girl children who are at institutions of higher learning who are our future leaders.  I believe that certain funds which are being allocated to certain sectors should be given to the girl child.  The money that is being saved from the road blocks should be given to the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Health and Child Care to ensure that our children live well.  There is going to be a huge saving on the reduced road blocks.

Our institutions of higher learning are important because they are our children’s future.  They affect the lives of our children.  As the elderly or the so called ‘blessers’ should strongly deny this title.  We should theoretically and practically refuse that title.  It is not pleasing.  It is an insult to God to say ‘blesser’.  The so called ‘blessers’ should be arrested because first and foremost they are taking advantage of the poor girl child but would never countenance such an incident happening to their own children.   Why then should that behaviour which you do not want to be exihibited on your child be exhibited on other children?

The reasoning capacity of a girl child at a university is not the same as that of a grown up businessman who receives $5 000-$10 000 in earnings per day from their business.  If approached by such a person, nine out of ten girl children succumb to such temptations. The end result is that it will come and hound the Government.  This misdemeanour should be stopped at all cost.  I thank you Mr. President.

*HON. SEN. CHIEF CHISUNGA:  I would like to thank the Hon. Sen. Timveos for the report she tabled in this House.  I am a member of that Committee on HIV/AIDS.  I would like to add my voice by saying that the objective of going to the tertiary institutions was to find the evidence that tallies or supports the reports that were given by the National Aids Council which stated that these are the prevailing conditions in our institutions of higher learning.

Our Government, through the Minister of Health and Child Care and other organisations, is at war on the prevention of HIV/AIDS.  We had to go there because of such things.  What our Committee saw we tabled the findings in Parliament so that the House can assist us in coming up with solutions.

We want this House to come up with policies that help us to achieve the goal that there will be no HIV/AIDS by 2030.  There are several interventions that we were scrutinising to see how effective they are, such as the use of condoms, male circumcision, PMTC and such other things, to find out if they are effective.  We also wanted to observe the so called children that we are referring to as children in schools.  They are no longer children, they are now adults.  This is what the authorities of those schools said.

So, the purpose of our report is to get assistance, to look at ways and means for us to fight and conquer this HIV/AIDS pandemic so that we have an AIDS free country which will help our country develop.  Mothers believe when they say that if you educate your daughter, you will have developed the country.  So, our objective is to look at ways to eradicate HIV/AIDS.

We saw that in the 1980s when condoms were being used, people believed that in them was oil that caused diseases or sickness.  I believe that the Hon. Minister Parirenyatwa, should come up with awareness programmes so that they understand these interventions that are being made to eradicate HIV/AIDS.  People are dying for want of knowledge.  This is an all out war.  We may fail to achieve our victory by 2030 of eradicating HIV/AIDS.  Some of the behaviour by these children at higher institutions is caused by poverty and the fact that they are now mature adults who feel that they cannot go for a week without being sexually active.  Some of these youths have wives and husbands at home when they go to these universities.  The country should be developed by coming up with solutions that ensure that our future is guaranteed in terms of their health.  I thank you Mr. President.

HON. SEN. TIMVEOS:  I move that the debate do now adjourn.

HON. SEN. MUMUVRI:  I second.

Motion put and agreed to.

Debate to resume:  Wednesday, 21st June, 2017.

On the motion of THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. DR. PARIRENYATWA), the Senate adjourned at Six Minutes past Four o’clock p.m.    

 

 

 

 

Senate Hansard SENATE HANSARD 20 JUNE 2017 VOL 26 NO 63